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18 April 2012

Young Indian American wins school board election primaries

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Raheela Ahmed, 18, finished first in the Prince George's County (Maryland) Board of Education elections, while the incumbent School Board Chairwoman, Jeana Jacob, received about 1,000 votes less than her.


Washington: A young Indian American has created history of sorts after winning the primaries in a school board election in the State of Maryland.


Raheela Ahmed, 18, finished first in the Prince George's County (Maryland) Board of Education elections, while the incumbent School Board Chairwoman, Jeana Jacob, received about 1,000 votes less than her.


Jacobs has been the School Board Chair for the past five years, and is vying for her second re-election.


She received 25 per cent of votes compared to Raheela's 34 per cent.


If elected in November, Raheela, an undergraduate student at University of Maryland, will become part of a nine-member School Board, which administers the 18th largest school system in the US, with more than 120,000 students and an annual budget of USD 1.6 billion.


"I am committed to lifting the performance of our county school system and to excellence in education," said Raheela, who attributed her victory to her strong grassroots organisation.
She had over 50 volunteers to help her go door to door in neighbourhoods and campaign.


A young community activist and leader, Raheela graduated from The Science and Technology Program at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in May 2011, with above a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Currently at the University of Maryland, College Park as a student in the Honors College, studying Biology and Business there, Raheela has already started preparing for the November elections.


"I go to sleep thinking about the campaign every night," she said.


"I'm taking a class in accounting, and then somehow I'm linking it to budgets and linking it to campaigning," she said.


(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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